ELLSWORTH — A World War II vet in Ellsworth receives a gift for his 97th birthday.
Almost a decade ago members of the Garry Owen Motorcycle Club pledged to help every veteran in Maine.
Thursday marks Joey Comeau’s 97th birthday, a World War II vet living in Ellsworth, who is on the verge of losing his home.
“We’ll stop traffic, we’ll put boots out there, but we got to get this guy’s taxes paid so he could do what he wants to do in the last part of his life,” said Warren Ard, president of Garry Owen Motorcycle Club.
The club members stopped by Comeau’s home, sparked a barbecue, and asked for donations in the middle of Bangor Road.
“We caught wind and we definitely want to raise this guy some money and try to get some of his taxes taken care of, maybe keep the town off his back,” said Christopher Fleming, member of Garry Owen
Ellsworth tax collectors want to foreclose on the home, but with the help of Comeau’s buddies, Fleming said it isn’t going to happen. Jarad Greeley a homeless veteran coordinator for the state said what the town has already done is illegal.
Greeley said Comeau can receive help through the veteran emergency financial assistance fund if he applies. Greeley said there is also a law that protects anyone over the age of 65 who is experiencing tax lien foreclosure and said Comeau should be protected by that.
“This country is the greatest nation in the world,” said Ard.
According to friends of Comeau he served in World War II from 1943-1945 and fought on the beaches of Normandy. In one hour the Garry Owen Motorcycle Club raised $600 dollars. Fleming said Comeau owes $6,000 to the state, but with other fees included it is up to $13,000.
“Our whole club is about veterans, you know veterans supporting veterans, my father was a Vietnam veteran so that made me want to begin this journey with these guys because they take care of veterans and my old man always taught me you know you see a vet out there you shake his hand and say thank you,” said Fleming.
The motorcyclists said they will do everything in their power to make sure the city lets Comeau keep his property.